What's new this school year?

Larger class sizes -- The state has granted school systems the option to have more students per classroom because of state budget cuts.

First senior class -- Howard High School has its first seniors since the school opened in August 2008.

Four-day school weeks -- Starting Tuesday, Peach County students attend school Tuesdays through Fridays. Elementary students will attend from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and middle and high students come 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The move comes after state budget cuts to save transportation and utility costs.

New headmasters -- Tattnall Square Academy is headed by Larry Collins who took the helm June 1. William Walters joined Covenant Academy this summer.

New principals -- In Bibb: Central High, Jeff Homan; Northeast High, Herbert Hodges; Bloomfield Middle, Efram Yarber; Union Elementary, Emanual Frazier; Early Childhood Center, Tricia Storey; and Carter Elementary, Latricia Reeves.

In Houston: David Perdue Primary, Leslie Shultz; Lake Joy Primary, April Strevig; Westside Elementary, Cynthia Hammond; and Northside Middle, Jan Melnick.

New Superintendent -- Mike Newton is interim superintendent in Jones County schools.

New reward system -- Monroe County schools launches its Positive Behavior Support program in its three elementary schools that reward students for doing the right thing and teaches expectations such as how to behave.

Uniform bell times -- Bibb County schools start same bell times for elementary schools this year to better improve bus routes. Now all elementary schools start at 8:45 a.m., which changes start times for Alexander II Magnet, King-Danforth, Ingram-Pye, Hartley, Jones, Rice, Rileyand Williams elementaries.

New transfer law (House Bill 251) -- This allows students in all school systems to transfer to another school in their district as long as the school isn¹t new or already at full capacity.

New alternative school program --A new ombudsman program was adopted for Bibb high school students who were expelled from their home school, are over-age or need to make up credits. Students will attend at least three hours a day at an office building at either 3768 Eisenhower Parkway or 1200 Riverside Drive.